Rovers defeated in Holland
Wednesday 9th August 2006, 19:00
Rovers were beaten this evening, slipping to defeat a 1-0 to Sparta Rotterdam. Yuri Rose scoring the only goal of the game for the Dutch side.
The match was won by Yuri Rose early in the second half, his effort beating Jason Brown from a quickly taken Sparta free-kick which found the Rovers defence guilty of some bad marking.
The final game of Rovers` brief tour of the Netherlands before Saturday`s last pre-season friendly with New Zealand at Ewood Park saw a first start for new signing Jason Brown. The Welsh International 'keeper had to make a few good saves but the summer signing wasn`t overly troubled.
With a number of players carrying minor knocks Mark Hughes opted against risking too many with the season so close, so the team which started this particular game should be quite different come the opening Saturday of the season. Triallist Jorge Acuna would start the game, lasting 84 minutes as his continues his bid to earn himself a contract with Rovers.
A fairly quiet first half saw two of Rovers` youngsters Jonathan Douglas and Paul Gallagher combine well a couple of times as they looked to impress Hughes sufficiently to come into contention for the Premiership campaign. Gallagher played Douglas through on one instance but he had his effort saved by the Sparta goalkeeper.
A thirty-yard Benni McCarthy free-kick proved his closest effort to a goal on the night, but it would go over the bar without troubling Ponk in the Sparta goal.
Sparta Rotterdam 0 Rovers 0
Sparta Rotterdam -
Rovers Substitutions: 46 mins Matteo (Off) McEveley (On)
Rovers Substitutions: 46 mins Gallagher (Off) Bentley (On)
It appeared as though most of the Rovers side had remained in the dressing room at half time, Moroccan Rachid Bouaouzan given space, and plenty of time on the edge of the area forcing Brown into a fantastic one handed save to keep the scored tied.
On 51 minutes however Brown could do nothing to prevent Yuri Rose giving the home side the lead. With the Rovers defence again sleeping a quick free-kick found its way to Rose who with plenty of time, and even more space placed the ball into the corner for what would prove to be the winning goal. Sparta Rotterdam 1 Rovers 0
From Captain Andy Todd`s pass Shefki Kuqi almost levelled things immediately. Taking the pass Kuqi was able to get past the 'keeper but before he could put it into the back of the net he was denied by Steve Olfers wonderful sliding challenge.
Yet more poor defending practically gifted Sparta a second goal but when free and unmarked Schenkel could manage only in heading wide from a corner.
Getting onto the end of a McCarthy through-ball Sergio Peter succeeded in making Sparta 'keeper Ponk commit himself but his effort would go over the bar. Five minutes later Kuqi would be found guilty of missing the target when being in a good position following his own good work.
Rovers Substitutions: 60 mins Douglas (Off) Reid (On)
Rovers Substitutions: 60 mins Peter (Off) Gamst Pedersen (On)
Rovers Substitutions: 70 mins Kuqi (Off) Roberts (On)
Brown would deny Yannis Anastasiou on more that one occasion this evening, twice being thwarted by the new boy in the Rovers goal in quick succession.
As Rovers looked to make their possession pay Jason Roberts would be denied by another fine save, this time from Ponk.
Rovers Substitutions: 84 mins Acuna (Off) Savage (On)
Bouaouzan will feel that he should have done better with his effort from the edge of the area, which would have confirmed victory, but Sparta nevertheless had done enough to send Rovers home with a defeat.
Sparta Rotterdam 1 Rovers 0
Sparta Rotterdam - Yuri Rose 51
Sparta Rotterdam: Ponk, de Roover, Olfers, Schenkel, Polak, Obodai (Kaita 79 mins), Medunjanin, Rose, Bouaouzan, van Dijk (Emnes 73 mins), Anastasiou (c) (Oost 73 mins)
Rovers: Brown, Mokoena, Matteo (McEveley 46 mins), Todd (c), Neill, Douglas (Reid 60 mins), Gallagher (Bentley 46 mins), Acuna (Savage 84 mins), Kuqi (Roberts 70 mins), McCarthy, Peter (Gamst Pedersen 60 mins)